Separate Tables

Synopsis: It's the off-season at the lonely Beauregard Hotel in Bournemoth, and only the long-term tenants are still in residence. Life at the Beauregard is stirred up, however, when the beautiful Ann Shankland arrives to see her alcoholic ex-husband, John Malcolm, who is secretly engaged to Pat Cooper, the woman who runs the hotel. Meanwhile, snobbish Mrs Railton-Bell discovers that the kindly if rather doddering Major Pollock is not what he appears to be. The news is particularly shocking for her frail daughter, Sibyl, who is secretly in love with the Major.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Delbert Mann
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 15 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min


Maj. Pollock.

Maj. Pollock!

Well, hello, hello.

What's this? What's this?

Well, I... I was rather

worried about you.

Worried? Why?

Has anybody been talking about me?

O, no. No, no, Major.

It wasjust that, when you were...

away forthese last 2 days.

Oh, I see.

Yes, well, I telephoned the hotel.

I talked to Miss Cooper.

I told her I was visiting a friend.

A company commander of mine...

served under me in the desert campaigns.

Ran into a bit of luck.

I thought I'd give him a hand.

You're always trying to help people,

aren't you, Major?

Well, yes, but, ah...

well, the fellow saved my life once,

just outside of El Alamein.

Pinned down. Short of petrol.

He was a good man.

Oh, yes.

Mark you, Jerry in the desert was

a very different cup of tea

from Jerry on the western front.

- W-were you in Normandy, too, Major?

- No, no, desert rats, you know.

- Still, we got to Berlin, eventually.

- Berlin must have been depressing.

Berlin depressing?

What with all those frauleins and

all those... all those madchens?

I should say not.

By Jove, I could tell youa thing ortwo.

Good life, yes, indeed.

Well, let's go and get

brushed up for dinner, what?

There you are, dear.

Having a stroll with the major?

- Yes, mummy.

- 'Evening, Mrs. Railton-Bell.

Good evening, Major.

- Had your watch stopped, darling?

- N-no, mummy, it's go...

Oh, well, t-the major was telling me

all about the desert campaign.

Yes, I'm sorry to have kept your pride

and joy out in the cold, Mrs. R-B.

The fact is,

I got on to the old days.

That's the trouble with us

old retired warhorses, what, what?

We all talk too much.


Well, if you'll excuse me.

Ah, Sibyl, my dearest...

do you mind if yourtactless old mother

whispers something in your ear?

No, mummy.

My dear, such a wonderful

concert this afternoon...

Oh, yes, Gladys, yes.

I'lljoin you in the game room.

Oh, all right, dear.

It'sjust that, do you think it wise

to make yourfeeling forthe major quite so public?

- My feelings forthe major?

- Yes, staring at him all the time.

Talking to him for hours on end.

Those meetings down on the front.

Quite a lot of people

are beginning to notice.

You don't mean...

You can't mean...

Oh, no. How can

people be so awful?

Control yourself.

- Don't get into one of your states now.

- It's all right, mummy. I'm not in a state.

- Good evening, Mrs. Railton-Bell.

- Good evening, Miss Cooper.

- Good evening, Sibyl.

- 'Evening, Miss Cooper.

Well, dear, I think you better

run upstairs and change for dinner.

You know Miss Cooper

likes us to be punctual.

- Ah, Stratton, still at it, I see.

- Yes.

I don't know how you do it, I must say.

Most praiseworthy effort, I think.

Thank you, Major.

Of course, when I was at Sandhurst...

Oh, I'm sorry,

I mustn't interrupt you, must I?

That's all right, Major.

Ah, when you were at Sandhurst?

Yes. Well, I wasjust going to say,

when I was at Sandhurst,

and when I was at Wellington, too.

I was a hit like you, you know...

sweating away at the books all the time.

Cramming away like mad, I was.

Military history, great battles of the past.

Clausewitz and all that sort of stuff.

I could have told you

a lot about Clausewitz at the point.

Oh, really, sir?

And you can't now, huh?

No, not anymore, I'm afraid.

Everything goes, you know. Everything goes.

Still, I don't regret it.

I did jolly well at Sandhurst.

Oh, did you get the sword of honor, sir?

Get the what?

- The sword of honor?

- Oh, the sword of honor.

No, I came close to it, though.

Passed out pretty high, pretty high.

Yes, you're quite right, sir.

Oh, I'm sorry, my boy. Please go on.

'Fraid I talk too much.

Not at all, sir, but Miss Cooper

just walked by and you were looking for her.

Oh, did she? Yes, I-I want to have

a little chat with her. Thank you.

- Keep up the good work, now.

- Well, I'll try, sir.

Good man.

Ah, there we are, Miss Cooper.

- What can I do foryou, Major?

- It's nothing important, really.

It'sjust that they're sending me up

a copy of the West Hampshire Weekly News.

I wondered if it had arrived yet.

The West Hampshire News?

Yes, I'm told they have a pretty

good page of small ads.

I thought I might pick up

a portable typewriter.

I'm taking a stab at the old war

memoirs, you know.

Of course, if there are any bargains,

one has to be quick off the mark.

Yes, well, there are

some things in my office.

I haven't been through them yet.

- I'll have a look.

- Oh, that's very good of you. Thank you.

I can't understand it.

There's still no answer.

Oh, I'm so sorry, Mr. Fowler.

Will you excuse me?

- One of your old flames, Eh, Mr. Fowler?

- Old flames? Oh, no.

Um, no, it's an old pupil coming

down for a few days.

I used to teach him

classics at school, you know.

Rather backward, I thought him

in those days.

No, as far as old flames are concerned,

I leave all that to you galloping majors.

Oh, those days are all past and

gone now, I'm afraid.

Eheu, fugaces, postume, postume.

Eheu, fugaces, postume, postume.

But weren't they teaching the new

pronunciation in yourtime at Wellington?

Yes, they probably were. I forget now.

I never was much of a hand at Greek.

Latin. Horace.

Latin. Yes, of course. Stupid of me, yes.

- Here we are, Major.

- Ah! Good show. Thank you, Miss Cooper.

Miss Cooper, I think, if you don't mind,

I'd like you to still keep the room.

- After all, he may be on the latertrain.

- Yes, yes, of course.

And, ah, if anything has gone wrong,

which I don't for a moment believe,

I shall naturally expect to pay for it.

- Will you let me know when you can?

- Yes, yes, of course.

By the by, Major, you were in

the Highland division at Alamein, weren't you?

Not in the highland division, no.

- Oh, I thought you were.

- I never said so.

- Well, I wasjust wondering...

- Mr. Fowler, aren't we going to finish this game?

We have a shilling on it,

if you remember.

Oh, yes, of course.

Will you excuse me?

- Good evening, Maj. Pollock.

- Good evening.

- So this is where you've been hiding.

- I was not hiding. Nowjust you shush.

Charles, forget your work for once

and let's go play billiards.

But, darling, the anatomy exams

come up next month. Remember?

Oh, Jean, really.

Have you told yourfather about us?

What did you tell him?

Oh, Charles, what did you tell him?

Oh, for heaven's sake.

That-that-that we were in love with each other.

That we were going to be married.

Well, you told him

a dirty lie then, didn't you?

Why? I do want to marry you.

- You know, I can never understand why...

- You know my views in marriage perfectly well.

I intend to produce paintings, not children.

And be kept in luxury by

London's most celebrated surgeon.

- Wh-who has failed to pass his anatomy.

- Charles?

Let's go for a walk in the garden.

Hmm? Oh, darling, first it's billiards,

now it's a walk.

But it looks so romantic.

Now, how can I possibly mix

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Terence Rattigan

Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan, CBE (10 June 1911 – 30 November 1977) was a British dramatist. He was one of England's most popular mid twentieth century dramatists. His plays are typically set in an upper-middle-class background. He wrote The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952) and Separate Tables (1954), among many others. A troubled homosexual, who saw himself as an outsider, his plays centred on issues of sexual frustration, failed relationships, and a world of repression and reticence. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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